Smarmy Slick Sweepstakes. And the award goes to….

Like many folks, I am on antibiotics and hoping this batch will work as the previous prescription didn’t get the job done.  If I was the template for the “pioneer” woman, not one female would have crossed the Mississippi.  I am no good when I am sick.  Not brave.  I just curl up thinking the end is near.

I did however go to a movie on Christmas Day.  “Up in the Air” with George Clooney.

It has been recommended by many critics and nominated for all sorts of awards.  Many critics ballyhooing that the director, the same director of “Juno” and ‘Thank-you for Smoking”, Jason Reitman, has shown his chops, his true directing chops in this movie.

One critic suggested the chemistry of Clooney and his female counterpoint, is the chemistry of Tracy and Hepburn, Bogart and Bacall.

Yo.  Whooeyman. Play your song for someone else.

I knew Tracy and Hepburn and my friends–Clooney and Farmiga are no Tracy and Hepburn.

The only way they are bigger than life would be if their images were made into an official and tradeable “fathead“, those life size wall graphics my nine year old grand nephew loves of his sports gods.

These main characters were to be pitied right from the start and it went down from there despite their smokin’ chemistry of reward cards.  If your only goal in life is to get a free upgrade and 10 million mile card (one that only seven other loser humans have received) from an airline, then, you’d better be darn good looking for me to be able to stand you for an hour and half.  They were good looking so I stayed in my seat.

This movie should be nominated for a COTY award, the Oscars of the advertising industry.  American Airlines agreed to be THE airline in a movie all about the “rewards” of flying and “privileges”awarded to customers who fly for a living.  One of the rewards of this movie, but not of real life, is that there are no weather delays, no turbulence in flight, no standing around for hours prior to boarding, no sitting on the tarmac for hours waiting to take-off, no bomb makers smokin’ up the aisle, and no toddlers disrupting your flight in first class, aka Ivana Trump.  Read this for your first class laugh of the day.

In return for allowing their name to be used in the film, they made available their 747’s or gates when shooting called for it.  Usually, there would be a substantial “fee” for this availability.

I’m trying to imagine Spencer Tracy saying to Katherine Hepburn (they were on the silver screen when trains ruled transportation) what he wanted most in life would be to get his own personalized Twentieth Century Limited train card.

Jason Reitman made a movie about shallow souls flirting with depth.  After seeing his “Juno” and now, “Up in the Air”, I suspect the director is a bit confused himself as to which is shallow and which is depth.

In this way, he is totally tuned into his times, however, and maybe does deserve an academy award.

Imagine for a moment, seeing an old campaign button, “John Edwards for President” for sale in a memorabilia kiosk.

This would be my candidate for the Shallow Slick Sick award (SSS) , perhaps of all time.

So, Mr. Reitman’s decision to attach George Clooney to this smarmyfest of shallow-slick sweepstakes is, well, there’s just no other way to phrase it…it’s an upgrade to First Class.

©Pat Coakley 2009


6 comments on “Smarmy Slick Sweepstakes. And the award goes to….”

  1. A little typo;)
    I knew Tracy and Hepburn and my friends–Clooney and Farmiga are no Spencer and Tracy.

    Or am I missing something?

  2. Thanks, Pat! You are not missing anything. It was indeed a typo. All fixed now.

  3. enjoyed this much. too funny! as a rule i always beware of any films with too much “this is a sure oscarwinner” buzz. it seems the more i hear how great they are, the less great they actually are, if that makes any sense.
    and as for the commercial part, the ‘product placement’, that is almost funny (almost) if it wasnt so deadpan serious. sneaky too. beware when a movie tries to sell a product or policy. you already paid for the ticket, whaddathey think, we are all fools? (yup)

  4. Moral of the story?

    Beware the hype, it’s just like optimism, it leads to disappointment.

  5. Tipota, the product placement in this movie was as integrated into the whole movie as anything I’ve seen. Scary, really.

  6. Razz, easier to say “beware the hype” than for me to do. When some of the critics I routinely read and like say it’s a three star, I usually think they are right. It’s not often I disagree with them, but on this one, I do.

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